Our Team

Margie Danchin

Associate Professor Margie Danchin

“I feel passionate about empowering pregnant women to access information that answers their questions about vaccines in pregnancy and for their children. As a mum of four, I know how exhausting it can be once you take your baby home, so it’s important that this information is available and accessible to women early, before delivery. I also want mothers to feel comfortable discussing vaccines with their midwife or GP and to feel these conversations are effective and provide the best, most up-to-date evidence. We hope MumBubvax provides this for mothers.”

Margie currently works as a General and Immunisation Paediatrician at Melbourne’s Royal Children's Hospital in the Department of Medicine and as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics, the University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). She obtained her PhD in 2006 after completing a fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Margie has extensive expertise in vaccine research focused on clinical trials, vaccine safety and vaccine social science. Margie’s primary research focus is to develop new interventions in partnership with parents, providers and the community to improve vaccine confidence and uptake among different populations and in different settings including pregnancy, primary care, for high-risk children and in developing country settings. Margie is a trusted and public face of vaccine confidence and acceptance in Australia and is passionate about improving maternal and child health through effective vaccine communication.

Dr Jessica Kaufman

Dr Jessica Kaufman

“Many of my friends are pregnant or have recently had babies and I’ve seen how much they’re expected to do, avoid, learn and remember while pregnant. I hope that the MumBubVax website makes it easy for them and their antenatal providers to find really clear, comprehensive information to answer their questions about vaccines.”

Jessica is a research fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She is also an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and the Centre for Health Communication and Participation at La Trobe University. She has a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies and a PhD in Public Health. Jessica is particularly interested in how communication strategies can be designed and used to promote healthy behaviours and engage people in healthcare decisions. Her current research includes developing and evaluating interventions and policies to improve vaccine uptake in pregnant women, children with neurodevelopmental disorders, and people of refugee background. She is also involved in mapping and designing measurement instruments to diagnose the reasons for under-vaccination.

Dr Katie Attwell

Dr Katie Attwell

“Vaccination protects the vulnerable in our communities. Recently, I have been that vulnerable person who relies on the vaccination of others to protect me from infectious diseases, and it was a humbling experience. Our precious babies are also vulnerable. Mums vaccinated in pregnancy protect their babies, and this website can assist with information and decision-making through pregnancy and beyond.”

Katie is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia where she works as a public policy scholar. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at Telethon Kids Institute. Katie has researched in the field of vaccination social science and policy since 2013 when she designed and implemented the “I Immunise” health communication campaign for the Immunisation Alliance of Western Australia, a not-for-profit community organisation. Since that time, she has lead-authored numerous papers on parents’ vaccination attitudes and decisions. Katie is a regular media commentator on vaccination and is passionate about assisting the public to understand why it is so important.   

Professor Saad B. Omer

Professor Saad B. Omer

“I believe that providing pregnant women with evidence-based information on maternal vaccines, through MumBubVax, will help them to make informed decisions regarding vaccines.”

Saad is the Director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, and a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Yale University, Schools of Medicine and Public Health in the United States of America. His primary research interest is vaccination, and he has conducted studies in the US, Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and Australia. He studies the efficacy of maternal or infant influenza, pertussis, polio, measles and pneumococcal vaccines, as well as interventions to increase vaccine coverage and acceptance.

Saad has published widely in peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature and Science, and he has written op-eds for publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. In 2009, he was awarded the Maurice Hilleman award in vaccinology by the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases for his work on impact of maternal influenza immunisation on respiratory illness in infants younger than six months (for whom there is no vaccine). He is currently a member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee in America.

Dr Annette Regan

Dr Annette Regan

“Everyone deserves the benefits of vaccination but many pregnant women are not getting these life-saving vaccines. What I love about MumBubVax is that it encourages more conversations about vaccination and will hopefully empower more women to protect themselves and their babies against life-threatening respiratory infections.”

Annette is an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco in the United States of America, and an Honorary Research Associate at the Wesfarmers Centre for Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at the Telethon Kids Institute. She completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) in 2006 at Emory University and her PhD in 2016 at The University of Western Australia, which involved several studies evaluating the uptake, safety and effectiveness of influenza vaccination during pregnancy. Her research focuses on improving maternal and child health with an emphasis on preventing infection and supporting family planning. She is interested in using mobile phones and text messaging as a way of monitoring vaccines and encouraging vaccination. Annette is also interested in the use of ‘big’ data to inform vaccination programs and is currently leading a large linked data project in Australia, evaluating the safety and effectiveness of pertussis vaccines given during pregnancy. 

Professor Julie Leask

Professor Julie Leask

“My entire professional life has been about supporting parents, both as a midwife and an immunisation researcher. Being pregnant is such an intense time. We want to make things just that little bit easier for pregnant women - to help them make informed decisions based on the highest quality evidence presented in a way that is easy to access.”

Julie is a social scientist and Professor in the Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sydney, and a visiting senior research fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. She was the principal investigator for the Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation (SKAI) project. The SKAI website and resources provide comprehensive information about childhood vaccination, and are linked throughout the MumBubVax website.

Julie has academic qualifications in nursing and midwifery, a Master of Public Health from the University of Sydney in 1998 and a PhD from the University of Sydney in 2002. She currently leads a program of research on vaccination acceptance with a focus on primary care and community settings. She is an advisor to the World Health Organization and serves on a range of global, regional and national committees in relation to immunisation and public health. In 2019 she was named overall winner of the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence.

Dr Kerrie Wiley

Dr Kerrie Wiley

“Over the years I’ve spoken with so many pregnant women who told me that it was hard to find good immunisation information in one place. I’m really proud to be part of the amazing team that’s making MumBubVax a reality for Australian mums-to-be and their midwives and GPs.”

Kerrie is a Research Fellow with the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the social and behavioural aspects of immunisation, and their implications for policy and practice. Kerrie’s is a member of the World Health Organization ‘Measuring Behavioural and Social Drivers of Vaccination’ (BeSD) Working Group. Her current research activities include understanding the factors that contribute to vaccine uptake globally and comparing these factors internationally; the decision-making processes of non-vaccinating parents; immunisation policy acceptability among a well-informed citizenry; the ethical considerations in responding to vaccine refusal; barriers and facilitators to Q fever vaccination among Australian cattle farmers; attitudes to immunisation in pregnancy among women and antenatal health care providers; exploring the shared decision making approach to immunisation in pregnancy; exploring the availability and quality of immunisation information on the internet; immunisation and preventive health practices among Australian Hajj pilgrims; and exploring the role of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners in immunisation decisions.

Other contributors

We would also like to thank our other valued collaborators and contributors: Dr Jane Tuckerman, Ms Carol Jos, Dr Jane Frawley, Dr Nina Chad, Dr Penelope Robinson, Dr Kirsten Perrett, Prof Helen Marshall, Dr Tom Snelling, Dr Frank Beard, Dr Deshayne Fell, Dr Penny Haora, Ms Catherine Hughes and the entire SKAI team.